Mike Agondua, born on 9th October 1955 is the traditional chief, (Agofe) of the people of Ayivu County in Arua district.
A professional soldier, Agondua ventured into business from 1980 until 2012, when he was officially inaugurated by the Council of Ayivu elders as the Chief.
Agondua relinquished his education in Senior Two after listening to a radio advert calling on the youth of that time to enroll into former President Idi Amin Dada’s Army in 1971 which he followed through. While in the force, he scaled up through the ranks until 1979 when Tanzanian soldiers forced Idi Amin the then President of Uganda out of power.
Early life and Education
Mike Agondua was born on October 9, 1955 in Aroi village, Bunyu Parish, Oluko Sub County, Ayivu County in Arua district to the late Nicholas Agondua and Late Estelí Adonge.
At the age of seven, Agondua joined Primary One at Arua Demonstration Primary School in Mvara, a suburb of Arua town where he studied till Primary four.
He later, joined Arua Public Primary School for his Primary Five and Jiako Primary School for Primary Six, all in Arua town before shifting to Oluko Primary School where he completed his Primary Seven in 1969.
In 1970, Agondua moved to Kampala to live with his Uncle Stephen Amimi , who took him to City High School where he joined Senior One, in the same year.
After his enlisting, Agondua was taken to Lubiri Army Barracks for a six months military training. He attained his first deployment as a professional soldier upon completion of the course.
In 1973, Agondua attended an Intelligence Course in Kabamba School of Infantry, Jinja, which later earned him the rank of Sergeant.
While serving in the Army, Agondua enrolled for the Police Law and Procedure Course in 1974 and was awarded with a certificate upon completion.
He was then promoted to Senior Staff Sergeant in 1975 and later, transferred to the Ministry of Information and Communication at the Army General Headquarters in Kampala.
Agondua served under this portfolio until 1979 when Tanzania soldiers over threw Idi Amin’s government and forced most of his soldiers into exile to Sudan, Kenya, Zambia, Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), known as Zaire among other Countries.
Agondua was exiled in DRC where he based in Aruu, a town in Eastern part of the country.
Life in Exile
In 1980, while in Aruu, Agondua got the opportunity to train in the Gold Mining Business with the Senegalese Gold experts who empowered him with start-up capital for the gold business after the training.
As business grew, Agondua expanded into DRC towns of Kishangani, Bunia, Dungu, Isiro, Wanga, Ssesenga, Dubele, Muku, Njali, Mungwere and Duruba with his main base in Aruu town.
As a credible source in the mineral, Agondua often received International delegates from Saudi Arabia, the UK and East Africa who traded with him in the gold business.
He recalls passing on his experience and knowledge of the trade to some of his ardent clients like Alex Onzima, the current State Minister in the Office of the Vice President and many more youths who were known as the Arua boys.
In 1980-1982, Agondua was involved in subversive activities against Milton Obote II government which was influenced by his support for the West Nile Bank Front leadership, a rebel group in Congo under the command of Late Isaac Lumago and Late Benerd Rwehururu which scaled him up to the rank of Lt. Colonel and later,
Brigade Intelligence Officer.
The later months of the year1985 saw him hunted down by gunmen for his life and wealth which killed his enthusiasm for the gold trade. He survived death by a whisker when he was shot at and got hit by a bullet in the right side of his stomach, which has left him with a permanent scar.
Agondua returned home in 1986, after the current President of Uganda, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni took office and called back all Ugandans from exile. On return, he received a Surrender Certificate, given to returnee solders, handed to him by the now Brig. Hussein Ada
Life back home
Upon return, Agondua established a shop in Arua town along Duuka Road where he revived his love for the gold trade besides trading in cigarette, fuel and diesel lubricants from factories in Kenya.
In 1992-1993, Bank of Uganda (BOU) was one of Agondua’s biggest gold clients though later, withdrew business after lots of fake gold minerals found their way into the same market causing a grave setback to the financial institution.
However, in 2001, Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) confiscated most of Agondua’s goods due to tax related issues which crippled his business.
Business in South Sudan
Following the collapse of his business in Uganda, Agondua moved to South Sudan where he started dealing in Japanese new and used vehicles and spare parts.
In 2011, when the government approved the Bill to reinstate Traditional Chiefs into a law, the council of elders of Ayivu summoned Agondua to return from South Sudan and contest for an election for the position of the Agofe.
Agondua emerged the winner of the race on 9ht July 2011 beating John Godo, Alioni Aforo , Nahuri Oya, the current Adjumani Resident District Commissioner and Cyril Eriku.
Agondua replaced Naphtali Fela, who had stepped down from the throne due to poor heath leaving Daudi Anyaku who acted on his behalf
Agondua was officially enthroned as the new Traditional Chief of Ayivu people on July 9, 2012 at Onduparaka, the Ayivu Cultural Headquarters.
Agondua has since used his office to promote peace and unity among the people of Ayivu and elsewhere through the Council of Elders.
The same council was instrumental in restoring peace at Ediofe Catholic Diocese when Christians rioted against the administration of Rt. Rev. Sabino Ocan Odoki, the Bishop of the Diocese.
The council has also solved several cases of land wrangles in the community especially over boundaries within Ayivu County.
Agondua married three wives ;Dorcus Inzikuru from Yivu Sub County in Maracha district in 1980, Grace Anderu from Muni in Oluko Sub County, Ayivu County in Arua district in 1981 and Yobuta Kabibi, a Senegalese in 1982.
He fathered 3 children with Inzikuru before divorcing her in 1985, 4 children with Anderu, and 4 children with Kabibi and 2 others out of wedlock. In total he fathered 13 children.
Agondua likes reading newspapers at his free time, Watching Television, Listening to Radio and above all, he is a football fan of his home team Onduparaka FC.
Agondua’s ancestry life stretches way back to the Colonial era in 1880 when the British came to Arua and found four senior elders settling on the footsteps of Arua Hill.
Among the elders was Agondua, the grandfather of Mike Agondua. History has it that Agondua was an elder from Aroi, Abia from Muni, Tawua from Ogai clan and Adrowa from Pajulu.
On the arrival of the colonialists, the other three elders migrated in fear of the white men but Agondua stood firm with his tools of war ready to face off with the British Colonialists. His bravery earned him the trust of the colonialists for whom he acted as a spokesperson amidst his community.
Agondua pursued his colleagues to return to their homes two days after they had left after which the British Colonialists enthroned him as the Chief of the area.
He later passed on in 1942 leaving behind 45 women and over 100 children. Agondua’s eldest son, Ezekiel Obiayi Agondua took over from the father.
After his demise in 1982, Mike Agondua’s father, Nicholas Agondua took over the throne. After his death, government appointed Naphtali Fala as the new Chief.
Mike Agondua received the tools of service from Anyaku Daudi, the then acting Chief during a colorful coronation held at Ayivu Cultural Headquarters in Onduparaka on July 9, 2012.
On May 1, 2014, the government of Uganda awarded Agondua with a medal of distinguished service.
In 2016, Agondua received Peace and Reconciliation Award from Gulu Catholic Archdiocese.
In 1974, Agondua was awarded with a certificate of police Law and Procedure.